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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
October 1998 to December 1998

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
MX Lake Yuriria, Guanajuato 09/01/98 - 10/16/98 Unidentified Duck; Unidentified Heron; Cattle Egret; Phalarope; Ruddy Duck 850 (est.) Botulism NW
CA City of Davis wetlands 12/13/98 - ongoing Unidentified Duck; Ruddy Duck 3,500 Avian cholera CFG
CA Colusa & Delevan NWRs 12/15/98 - ongoing American Coot; American Wigeon; Snow Goose; Northern Pintail; Ross' Goose 12,000 (est.) Avian cholera NW
CA Hayward - Water treatment wetlands 12/01/98 - ongoing Ruddy Duck; Northern Shoveler 250 Avian cholera CFG
CA Lake Earl Wildlife Area 12/21/98 - ongoing American Coot; Ruddy Duck; Bufflehead; Unidentified Grebe; Unidentified Loon 5,100 Avian cholera CFG
CA Salton Sea NWR - New River Delta 12/18/98 - ongoing Eared Grebe; Ruddy Duck; Northern Shoveler; Ring-billed Gull; Herring Gull 1,500 (est.) Avian cholera NW
CA San Joaquin River NWR; Page Lake 12/18/98 - ongoing Canada (Aleutian) Goose; Canada (Cackling) Goose; American Coot; Mallard 1,165 Avian cholera NW
CA San Luis & Merced NWRs 12/27/98 - ongoing American Coot; Northern Shoveler; Green-winged Teal; Ruddy Duck; Mallard 9,708 Avian cholera NW
CA Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area 12/21/98 - ongoing Ruddy Duck; American Coot; Northern Shoveler; Unidentified Egret; Snow Goose 8,700 (est.) Avian cholera CFG
GA Hoschton 10/04/98 - 10/16/98 Mourning Dove 5 Parasistism: trichomoniasis SC
GA Lake Juliette; Strom Thurmond Lake 11/20/98 - 12/15/98 American Coot; Bald Eagle 100 (est.) Vacuolar myelinopathy SC, NW
KS Wichita 11/13/98 - 12/31/98 House Sparrow 8 Salmonellosis NW
MT Stevensville & Hamilton area 07/01/98 - 09/30/98 Pine Siskin; Evening Grosbeak 300 (est.) Salmonellosis NW
NC Woodlake 10/23/98 - ongoing American Coot; Bufflehead; Ring-necked Duck; Mallard; Bald Eagle 300 (est.) Vacuolar myelinopathy NW, SC
ND Lostwood NWR 10/26/98 - 11/04/98 Snow Goose; Ross' Goose; White-fronted Goose; Canada Goose 650 (est.) Necrotic enteritis NW
NE Harlan County Reservoir 10/30/98 - 11/02/98 Double-crested Cormorant 40 (est.) Parasitism: renal coccidiosis NW
NY Hudson River near Stillwater 12/22/98 - ongoing Snow Goose 75 (est.) Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globulus NY
NY White Plains 11/30/98 - 11/30/98 American Crow 12 (est) Toxicosis: diazinon NY
OH Milford, Lakewood Park Apts. 11/04/98 - 11/04/98 Mallard 6 Botulism type C NW
SC Savannah River Ecology Lab 12/11/98 - ongoing American Coot; Bald Eagle 50 (est.) Vacuolar myelinopathy NW
TX Terry County 12/20/98 - 12/28/98 Sandhill Crane 75 (est.) Mycotoxicosis suspect NW
TX Laguna Atascosa NWR 12/19/98 - 12/25/98 Snow Goose 20 (est.) Lead poisoning NW
UT Great Salt Lake 10/13/98 - 11/30/98 Eared Grebe; California Gull; Unidentified Duck; Unidentified Shorebird 34,960 Avian cholera NW
UT Salt Lake City 12/30/98 - 12/30/98 European Starling 100 (est.) Toxicosis: starlicide NW
WA Highway 50 near Tacoma 10/17/98 - 10/17/98 European Starling 350 (est.) Trauma: impact NW
WI Maple Valley Flowage 10/28/98 - 11/10/98 Trumpeter Swan 5 Open NW
WI Shawano 10/20/98 - 11/16/98 American Coot; Lesser Scaup; Blue-winged Teal; Mallard; Ring-necked Duck 3,653 Parasitism: Leyogonimus sp. and Sphaeridiotrema globulus NW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
GA Acworth 08/05/98 - 08/05/98 Mallard 5 (est.) Toxicosis: Bendiocarb SC
GA Powder Springs 03/24/98 - 03/24/98 Common Grackle 12 (est.) Toxicosis: diazinon SC
IL Springfield 08/05/98 - 08/12/98 Mallard 8 (est.) Toxicosis: organophosphorus compound suspect NW
NY Canandaigua Lake 09/03/98 - 09/03/98 Mallard 6 (est.) Toxicosis: diazinon NY
WV Mineralwells 05/01/98 - 08/15/98 Mourning Dove 10 Parasistism: trichomoniasis SC
WI Marathon County 09/28/98 - 09/28/98 Canada Goose 11 Trauma / electrocution (storm) WI

(e) = estimate; * = morbidity and mortality

National Wildlife Health Center (NW); Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SC); New York State Departmemt of Environmental Conservation (NY); California Department of Fish and Game-Wildlife Investigations Laboratory (CFG); Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI)

Written and compiled by Kathryn Converse, Kimberli Miller, Linda Glaser, and Audra Schrader, National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC). To report mortality or if you would like specific information on these mortalities, contact one of the following NWHC staff: Western US Kathryn Converse; Eastern US--Kimberli Miller; Hawaiian Islands--Thierry Work. Phone (608) 270-2400, FAX (608) 270-2415 or E-mail kathy_converse@usgs.gov. National Wildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711.

Quarterly Mortality Reports

Multiple avian cholera outbreaks began this quarter in the western United States; outbreaks were most numerous in California, but a single epizootic occurring on the Great Salt Lake represented the greatest magnitude of mortality. In California, outbreaks occurred throughout the length of the state from Del Norte County in the north to Imperial and Riverside Counties (Salton Sea) in the south. Approximately 42,000 waterfowl and coots have been collected at these California outbreak sites. Although snow geese, the waterfowl species typically associated with avian cholera outbreaks, predominated in some of the pick-ups at refuges in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, ruddy ducks and American coots were the species most involved in outbreaks in the northern part of the state and other central valley sites. Also of note, over 700 Aleutian Canada geese (2% of the population) died from avian cholera this winter at the San Joaquin River NWR.

The largest avian cholera event this winter occurred on the south of arm of the Great Salt Lake where approximately 35,000 birds (primarily eared grebes and lesser numbers of California gulls) died from this disease. Avian cholera die-off events occurring on the Great Salt Lake as well as involving primarily eared grebes are rare. This is only the third documented avian cholera epizootic on the Great Salt Lake reported to NWHC. All three of these die-offs have involved eared grebes; In 1994, an estimated 10,000 eared grebes and 5,000 northern shovelers died from avian cholera and in 1995 1,000 eared grebes and northern shovelers were involved.

Pathologists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) in Madison, Wisconsin and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) at the University of Georgia have found changes in the brains of coots, mallard, wigeon and ringed-necked ducks from Woodlake, North Carolina that are similar to the changes found in the brains of American coots and bald eagles with vacuolar myelinopathy. The disease had not previously been documented in species other than American coots and bald eagles. In addition, bald eagles collected from 4 new locations (near Woodlake, North Carolina; Aiken, South Carolina; and Strom Thurmond Lake and Lake Juliette, Georgia) and coots from Aiken, South Carolina appear to also have the same brain disease. In Arkansas, at least 58 bald eagles and an unknown number of coots have died from this disease since it was first detected in 1994.

Coot and scaup mortality due to Leygonimus and Sphaeridiotrema parasites occurred again this fall on Shawano Lake in Wisconsin. As in previous dieoffs, Leygonimus was found in the coots in large numbers and Sphaeridiotrema in the scaup. Approximately 3,000 of the 3500 birds picked up during the 4 week dieoff were coots.

For additional information please contact Dr. Scott Wright, USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Disease Investigations Branch Chief, at 608-270-2460 or Paul Slota, USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Support Services Branch Chief at 608-270-2420.

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